Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

National rides post-Budget wave

Focus on family helps governing party to over 50% support, while rival Labour dips below 30% in one poll.

Prime Minister John Key told  3News  its poll result was "very pleasing". Photo / Alan Gibson
Prime Minister John Key told 3News its poll result was "very pleasing". Photo / Alan Gibson

John Key's National Government is enjoying a Budget lift higher in two new polls, and appears to have moved on from the Judith Collins and Maurice Williamson conflict-of-interest scandals.

The 3News/Reid Research poll conducted in the week immediately following Bill English's family-focused Budget this month has National up 4.4 points to 50.3 per cent.

The One News/Colmar Brunton poll conducted over a similar period also has National up four points, taking it to 51 per cent.

The news was bad, however, for Labour and its leader, David Cunliffe, with support for the party down 1.7 points in the 3News poll which, like the Herald-DigiPoll, now puts it below the psychologically important 30 per cent mark - at 29.5 per cent.

The One News poll has Labour down one point to 30 per cent.

Prime Minister John Key told 3News its poll result was "very pleasing" and with just four months to the election "Labour will be very worried".

Mr Cunliffe, who has struggled to match the modest poll showings by his predecessor David Shearer, said it was "still fairly early days" and "this is going to bounce right back again". "The only poll that counts is the one on election day," he said.

The 3News poll showed Bill English's sixth Budget with its $500 million package for families was well received with 73.2 per cent of those polled saying they agreed with it compared with 23.7 per cent who said they didn't.

There was a small measure of good news for Mr Cunliffe, with a 2 per cent lift in the preferred Prime Minister stakes to 10 per cent according to One News and a 0.8 per cent rise in the 3News poll taking him to 9.8 per cent.

Mr Key remains far ahead as preferred Prime Minister, at 43 per cent in both polls.

Meanwhile, among the small and mid-sized parties, the Greens were largely steady, unchanged at 11 per cent according to One News, but down one point at 10.2 per cent according to 3News.

Messages were mixed for Winston Peters' NZ First, which was up 0.7 points to above the 5 per cent mark in the 3News poll but down two points to just below that threshold according to One News.

Kim Dotcom's Internet Party was at 1 per cent in the One News poll and at 0.6 per cent in the 3News poll which is well within both polls' 3.1 per cent margin of error, the same territory as the other minor parties including the Maori Party, Mana, the Conservative Party, Act and United Future.

- NZ Herald

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